SAC Theatre Arts

Using my “I’m better than you” technique while performing in Big Love.

Often, my friends, family, and even people I don’t know ask me, “How can you act in front of people that are just staring at you?” My response is always the same, “I’M BETTER THAN THEM!”

Confused? Allow me to explain. When I first acted in front of people I was so nervous… Sweating all over my body, forgot some of my lines, and eventually succumbed to stage-fright. At the time, I told myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” In fact, I actually had goosebumps every time I had to go to class.

As I went through my acting class and weeks passed, my teacher Chris Cannon told us that in order to let go of that fear of being in front of people is to think about something else and take the stage. In other words, “Get up there and make it your stage and be a badass about it!” It’s what Chris always referrs to as a “FUCK IT” moment.

For example… You are out with your friends, having fun at a club, movie theater etc., and out of nowhere you all notice a beautiful girl but nobody wants to say “Hi!” because of fear of what she might say back. And, then…. There is always that one person who will say “FUCK IT, I’m gonna say ‘hi’!” Eventually, he says ‘Hi’ as if he has nothing to lose.

It’s a very similar sort of moment when you first start acting and begin taking the stage. I took that advice from Chris and used it, and added a little spin by using the idea that “I’m better than everyone that is watching me”… primarily by using the emotion of anger. You may have heard the notion of picturing the audience naked if you are giving a speech… to help calm your nerves. This is the same thing… just my personal spin on that concept.

Of course, I don’t disrespect anyone or any other actor by saying that I’m better than them in what I do, because I’m certainly not. I respect them and hold them

Backstage with a fellow cast-mate from Big Love.

Backstage with a fellow cast-mate from Big Love.

in a special place in my heart. This is simply a method. A way for me to use a specific mentality so I can conquer my fear of being in front of people. It makes me feel superior when I’m on a stage. And, I will say that this method isn’t for everyone. It may not work for you… you may use different tools and techniques. This is simply the mentality that gives me the most power and confidence when onstage. 

Other actors may have different techniques to get over fear on stage… The important thing is that YOU find YOUR method. Perhaps you may use happiness, sadness, joyfulness, anger, madness, etc. It all depends on what kind of mood makes you feel comfortable and confident. So, don’t allow fear of being in front of people or “stage-fright” get in the way of showing the world how talented you are.

FUCK IT!!! Just take the stage!!!!

So, how ’bout you? What tools, techniques, or mentalities do you use to combat stage-fright?

Let me hear your story,

SAC Theatre Arts

Marco Garcia

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